The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is gunning for former president Jacob Zuma ally, Hlaudi Motsoeneng. According to the Sunday Times, the SABC is seeking payment of R850,000 from Motsoeneng - former group chief operating officer - for legal fees incurred by the public broadcaster on his behalf in numerous legal cases.
The SABC is still pursuing Motsoeneng for R11 million paid to him as part of a R30 million success fee for negotiating a controversial R500 million deal with MultiChoice, which effectively handed it access to the entire SABC archive.
Working with the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), the SABC also seeks to recover R10.7 million in damages from Motsoeneng related to irregular appointments made on his watch, and the payment of bonuses.
Another matter before the Special Tribunal relates to the authorisation of payments of R50 000 each to music legends. The one-off payments were made to 53 musicians in 2016 for the role they played in the liberation struggle. These payments have been declared irregular. In total, Motsoeneng is being pursued for more than R24m.
If the SABC has its way, Motsoeneng could lose his pension payout should he fail to repay the monies.
Motsoeneng is fighting back. He is contesting the SABC claim of legal fees, saying that when the legal costs were incurred he was an employee and was covered by the SABC’s legal insurance. He claims the SABC owes him R22m — part of the success fee for the MultiChoice deal. The SABC and the SIU have a number of pending court cases against Motsoeneng.
“They owe me R22 million, I want it. I raised money for the SABC; I raised R800m out of the MultiChoice deal. The SABC survives because of me.”
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